Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Spiteful or malicious; venomous: a viperish retort.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. In the manner of a viper.
  • adj. spiteful; treacherous

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Somewhat like a viper; viperous.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Like a viper; somewhat viperous; malignant; ugly: as, a viperish old woman.

Etymologies

viper +‎ -ish (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Enid Graham and Kelli O'Hara have some fun with the viperish sisters.

    Michael Giltz: Theater: Sam Waterston's "King Lear" Disappoints At Public

  • This morning in the NY Times, Virginia Heffernan found herself missing the viperish presence of Joan Rivers on the red carpet, and quoted some Rivers line about how she's so old and saggy her gynecologist wears a crash helmet.

    Emmy Notes: James Wolcott

  • His Slade is a volatile, fascinating mix of old-fashioned courtliness and viperish hostility.

    Not A Season To Be Jolly

  • By the Almighty, we have escaped from the blackamoor and from drowning: but how shall we escape from this abominable and viperish monster?

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • “I wish he were uglier,” said Lady Dudley, with a viperish look at Comte Felix.

    A Daughter of Eve

  • Joan Didion is "a viperish, whispering little creature."

    A Schmoozer Shares All

  • “If I choose,” said Goupil, giving her a viperish look; “Massin would buy the whole for two hundred thousand francs.”

    Ursula

  • “Admirable tenderness!” said Madame Fosco, admiring her husband, with a last viperish look in my direction.

    The Woman in White

  • She cast one viperish look at me as I entered the hall, but said nothing, and went slowly upstairs without returning my bow.

    The Woman in White

  • You never gave me the credit for that much intelligence, did you? she thought with viperish satisfaction.

    The Chrome Borne

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.